LESOTHO COURT OF APPEAL
an appeal against severity of sentence.
appellate was convicted of the murder with extenuating circumstances
of Motebang Letlaka on 18th September 1987. A sentence
of 16 years
imprisonment was imposed.
It is not
in dispute that the deceased - a young man - died at the hands of the
appellant, also a young man, who inflicted several
stab wounds on
him. It appears from the record that appellant was strongly under the
influence of liquor at the relevant time.
He was at Peete Peete's bar
and endeavoured to establish a love relationship with the unwilling
sister of the deceased. Frustrated
by his lack of success he behaved
discourteously towards her and endeavoured to prevent her from
leaving the bar with the"
deceased. The deceased, intent on
caking his sister home, resisted appellant's conduct, and a scuffle
ensued. In the course of
the scuffle the appellant inflicted four
stab wounds as a result of which the deceased succumbed.
passing sentence the trial Judge merely remarked "drink having
been found to constitute extenuating circumstances, the accused
sentenced to 16 years imprisonment,"
appellant was a relatively young man in his early twenties at the
time of the commission of the offence. He was a first offender.
is no indication on the record that the trial Judge had regard to
these two circumstances in exercising his discretion. These
relevant and material considerations which the trial Judge seemingly
ignored or overlooked. In these circumstances I am quite
that the sentence imposed on
appellant was excessive in the circumstances and Chat portion thereof
should be suspended.
view the appeal against sentence ought to succeed to the extent that
the following words be added thereto "of which 6
suspended for a period of 3 years on condition that during the period
or suspension he is not convicted of any assault
on the person of
another for which, a sentence of imprisonment in excess of 6 months
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